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Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

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This article was last updated Oct 10, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

What customer is this card best for?

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer is a good option for frequent spenders at gas stations and supermarkets, as you’ll earn a higher cashback rate on purchases in those categories.

If you’re someone who has a balance on an existing card or plan on making a large purchase, there is a good 0% intro period for transfers and purchases — 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days (15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR APR, after) and 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles (15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR APR, thereafter). The 0% intro APR period can save you a tidy sum compared with carrying debt on a high-interest card.

  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles

  • 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days

  • 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Highlights
  • No annual fee
  • NEW OFFER: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases AND for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
  • Easily add your Mastercard® credit card to any digital wallet for a simple, secure, and convenient way to pay online, in-app, and in-store

See additional details for Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer

More Info

This card isn’t for people who don’t spend in the bonus categories, as you’ll earn a subpar rate on all other purchases. You would be better off with a flat-rate card that earns you a consistently high rate on all purchases like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer or a rewards card that is more aligned with your spending.

This card also isn’t for people who need a long time to pay off a balance. You can find other cards with 0% intro periods of 18 or 21 months.

Where this card stands out in its category

This card offers great redemption bonuses for cardholders with an active personal (nonbusiness) checking, savings or individual retirement account with Bank of America or who are a client of Merrill Edge®, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated or U.S. Trust (excluding 401(k) or other employer sponsored plans and 529 plans): You receive a 10% customer bonus on every purchase when you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account or an even larger bonus of 25-75% if you’re a Preferred Rewards client. This allows you to maximize your cashback earnings.

Where this card falls short in its category

This card falls short in the quarterly maximum it has on bonus categories: 3% cash back on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. 1% cash back on all other purchases. Since the cap applies to spending across all bonus categories, very big spenders in these categories may not earn the best cashback rate and may benefit more from both a grocery card and gas card. However, the cap is higher than you’ll get with some other cards that cap bonus category spending at $1,500 a quarter.

Another drawback of this card is the relatively short intro period for purchases and balance transfers. You can find cards with longer intro periods that offer more time to pay off your debt.

Additional card benefits

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer offers several additional card benefits beyond its cash back program and 0% intro APR periods:

  • FICO® score for free: Any unauthorized charges on your account won’t be your responsibility.
  • ShopSafe®: This is a free service that generates a temporary credit card number that links directly to your real credit card account number when making purchases online. Your card number is not given to the merchant and remains private.
  • $0 liability guarantee: Unauthorized purchases made on your account are not at your expense.
  • Online chat: No need to call a representative. You can easily log on to online banking to chat about any questions you may have.
  • Digital wallet technology: Utilize the easy payment features of Apple Pay®, Microsoft™ Wallet, Android Pay™ or Samsung Pay to pay in-app, online or in-store.

How to use the card most effectively

To get the most value out of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer, be sure to use it for all of your gas, grocery, and wholesale club purchases. This will allow you to earn the higher cashback rate on these purchases (until you hit the cap).

For all other spending, it’s a good idea to use a flat-rate card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer so you can earn a higher rate than if you only used the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer. Also, make sure to spend the required amount in the given time period to earn the signup bonus.

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay

  • 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers*

  • 15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)

Highlights
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

More Info

If you plan on taking advantage of the 0% intro APR period for a large purchase, make sure you complete the purchase as soon as possible so you can take advantage of the majority of the intro period. For those who want to complete a balance transfer, be aware you have to transfer your balance within 60 days from account opening, and there is a transfer fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Rewards breakdown

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card offers a good cashback rate for gas and grocery shoppers. Earn 3% cash back on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. 1% cash back on all other purchases. Although there is a quarterly maximum on spending at the higher cashback rates, there are no changing categories and no expiration on rewards.

You’ll earn a 10% customer bonus at the time of redemption if you redeem your cash rewards into a Bank of America® checking or savings account or an eligible Cash Management Account® with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management® or Merrill Edge® ($25 redeemed in cash rewards = $27.50 deposit). The customer bonus is not earned on cash rewards redeemed for a statement credit or check. If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can possibly increase your bonus by 25-75%.

There is a signup bonus for this card that will earn you additional cash back so long as you complete your application online and meet the requirements: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Compare it with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express both offer higher rates for supermarket and gas purchases, however they differ in amount of cash back you earn and 0% intro APR period. If you are a big spender in gas the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer may earn you more cash back due to its high rewards rate for gas spending, while the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is better for big grocery spenders.

  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

  • 3% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases*

  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.

Highlights
  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

More Info

When comparing 0% intro periods, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has a longer balance transfer period and purchase period than the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer. This allows you extra time to pay off your debt, and can save you more money in the long run. See below for a breakdown of the key terms of each card.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Annual Fee $0 $0
Purchase Intro Rate 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro Rate 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Ongoing APR 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR 14.99%-25.99% Variable
Rewards 3% cash back on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. 1% cash back on all other purchases 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign Up Bonus $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
Foreign Transaction Fee 3% 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Bottom line

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card offers a good cashback program for spenders at gas stations, supermarkets and wholesale clubs, as well as a decent 0% intro APR period that can provide you with the time needed to pay a balance. However, there are cards that can offer you longer 0% intro APR periods and better cashback programs.


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